Saturday, 5 February 2011

Britain is a country whose old men 'take their hats off' to a feisty old Anglo-American, Hollywood actress called Elizabeth Taylor

'The Daily Mail' newspaper had an article today entitled :

Brave Liz Taylor, all dressed up for a hospital trip as the frail star keeps up appearances.
'The heavy earrings, necklaces, dyed black hair and red lipstick recalled her glamorous past, but she looked worryingly frail as she was wheeled into a Beverly Hills hospital for a check-up. Blue-shaded sunglasses covered her sunken eyes and the 78-year-old Oscar-winning actress was breathing with the help of an oxygen tube.'

The article went on to make the following points, that she :

* is virtually confined to a wheelchair, has struggled with health problems for much of her life and has had more than 100 operations in the past 25 years.

* found fame in 'National Velvet' when she was 12 and, although the film was the springboard for her career, it was also the start of her chronic back problems after she fell from a horse during filming.

* has had both hips replaced, five operations on her back and her long list of medical problems include a brain tumour, skin cancer, diabetes, pneumonia, seizures and a stroke and after a trip to hospital in 2009 said : "I am a survivor."

* in 2010, hit back at reports that Hollywood was planning a film based on her relationship with Richard Burton, saying:
"Hold your horses, world. I’ve been hearing all kinds of rumours about someone being cast to play me in a film about Richard and myself. No one is going to play Elizabeth Taylor, but Elizabeth Taylor herself. Not at least until I’m dead, and at the moment I’m having too much fun being alive . . . and I plan on staying that way. Happiness to all."

Of the comments to the paper about the article, my favoutrite was from 'Tallulah' :

'What a trouper! Actress to the core of her being and pulling it off beautifully, in spite of the oxygen tubes over her face. And I don't see 'sunken eyes' behind those shades. I just see a defiant and very frail, very tired and very great beauty retaining her dignity why trademark style. STAR! Proper one. Not saddo celeb 'star'.'

What you possibly didn't know about Liz, who is 79 on the 27th of this month is that she :

* was born in London in 1932, and of her parents, who were from Kansas,
her father was an art dealer and her mother a former stage actress and is a dual citizen of, the UK through her birth in Britain and the U.S.A through American parents.

* went with her family to the U.S.A. before the outbreak of the Second World War and through family connections, at the age of 9, was signed to a six-month contract at $100 a week with Universal Pictures.

* had, even at this age, breathtaking beauty which was partly due to a mutation which gave her a double rows of eyelashes.

* in 1942, was signed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to appear as 'Priscilla' in the film 'Lassie Come Home'.

* by appearing in the role of 'Velvet Brown' in 'National Velvet', was rocketed to stardom at the age of 12 and had a new long-term contract with a salary of $30,000 per year.

* in the 1950's starred in George Stevens' epic 'Giant', 'Raintree County', 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' and 'Suddenly, Last Summer'.

* in 1960, became the highest paid actress, up to that time, when she signed a one million dollar contract to play the title role in 'Cleopatra' and during the filming, began a romance with her future husband Richard Burton who played Mark Antony.

* was married to Burton from 1964 - 74 and briefly again after that.

* had her second Academy Award for her performance as 'Martha' in 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' in 1966, playing opposite Burton.

* would appear with Burton in six other films during the 1960's : 'The V.I.P.s', 'The Sandpiper', 'Doctor Faustus', 'The Comedians', 'Boom!' and 'The Taming of the Shrew' :

* has devoted much time and energy to AIDS-related charities and fundraising and helped start the 'American Foundation for AIDS Research' after the death of her former co-star and friend, Rock Hudson and by 1999, had helped to raise an estimated $50 million to fight the disease.

* attended her friend, Michael Jackson's private funeral in 2009.

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